Obama announces deferred action on deportation of young illegal immigrants

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President Barack Obama’s administration announced a new immigration policy Friday that will protect young illegal immigrants from deportation and allow them to obtain work permits.

Under this plan —  issued in a memorandum sent by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to the heads of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — illegal immigrants will avoid deportation for two years of “deferred action”  if they meet a series of qualifications.

According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security, individuals must have been brought to the United States before they turned 16 and be younger than 30 to qualify for deferred action. They must have lived in the country for at least five consecutive years with no criminal history and they must have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a GED or served in the military.

This policy also enables illegal immigrants who meet these qualifications to apply for a work permit that will be good for two years and have no limits upon renewal. While this is not a path directly towards citizenship, it does allow an estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants to remain in the United States for extended periods without threat of deportation.

“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner, but they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in the press release. “Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”

These new measures may serve as only a temporary solution to a greater problem, since they do not offer a way of obtaining permanent citizenship and can be overturned by any future administrations because they are enforced by executive order and not legislation.

In a press conference at the White House Friday, Obama said the new policy would make the immigration system “more efficient and more just.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said a statement issued Friday that the new policy could present difficult obstacles to  future immigration reform.

“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own,” said Rubio in the statement. “But there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future.”

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau expressed his support for the new policy in a statement issued Friday, and said he hopes the announcement leads to the eventual passage of the federal DREAM act.

“This is an important and courageous act by President Obama, especially in an election year,” Birgeneau said. “The entire Berkeley community and, most especially, our undocumented students are grateful to him for this humane action.”

For outgoing CalSERVE Senator and undocumented immigrant Ju Hong, Obama’s announcement represents positive action toward a brighter future.

“It’s good news and it’s very significant because a lot of dreamers like myself have lived in fear of facing deportation,” Hong said. “But now, because of this new policy, (we are) more comfortable to come out and (we) can be more focused on family and school.”

Hong also said the component of the policy which allows approved immigrants to apply for work permits will be very beneficial to the illegal immigrant community.

“This work permit will provide an extensive amount of opportunities for dreamers to pay not only for their education, but also support their families who may be undocumented and trying to get a job,” said Hong.

Hong said his only criticism of the policy is the age requirement which disqualifies anyone over 30.

“We still need to consider those who don’t qualify under the policy, and fight for comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. “At the same time, it’s a good move because so many dreamers have lost hope, and this policy will give hope and a boost to immigration communities.”

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  • youreallridiculous

    While many of you are screaming about them taking our jobs, you do realize these jobs are jobs that you don’t want to do or are beneath you, right? DACA is mainly for college aged kids who are just working in the mall or at a restaurant. If MILLIONS of Americans can’t find jobs maybe they aren’t looking hard enough because a lot of stores at my mall are hiring, and no the Illegals didn’t take all those jobs away from you. We’re getting minimum wage, is that what you want? To work in retail for minimum wage?

  • Calipenguin

    “Hong said his only criticism of the policy is the age requirement which disqualifies anyone over 30.”

    I hope it’s obvious by now to anyone that is keeping score that the illegal aliens want nothing less than the removal of all barriers to illegal aliens of all ages.  They think America is a moody ATM machine and it’s a violation of basic human rights to deny anyone a chance to take out free money from the ATM machine.

  • ethomas

    Why is everyone here in agreement that governments have the right to tell people whether or not they can work? I can accept that citizenship goes with political rights, but when it’s paired with economic rights it becomes a form of protectionism. Allow free markets to work, there’s no such thing as a fixed number of jobs or a rightful entitlement to a job because of an arbitrary status as a citizen.

    • I_h8_disqus

      I think constitutional lawyers would disagree with you.  For example, we would have had a successful challenge giving the right to all non-citizens to work or even for non-citizens to freely live in the U.S. if the Constitution supported those rights.

    • Calipenguin

       Illegal aliens have full economic rights… in their home country.  They are free to compete with us from there. 

  • I_h8_disqus

    I would like to find out more about Ju Hong.  Was he charged non-resident tuition, since he is not a Californian?  While Obama will let him stay, but deport his mother?  How do we have such glaring loop holes in our education system where kids can get enrolled in public schools without anything saying that they are actual residents?

    • guest

      Because, our immigration policy is so strifling to begin with, that many loopholes are created. It’s all ridiculous. Hey Congress, either make laws that can be enforced, or change the law, and stop making loopholes, for it undermines our law to have loopholes.

      And as for Hong, I am curious as well. I’m sure he received a generous scholarship from tuition paying students, and tax payers of California. If not, we’d be hearing more about him protesting

    • Calipenguin

       The truly idiotic part of the DREAM act is that once someone is allowed to stay, he could chain sponsor parents and siblings after 12 years.  In other words, the guilty adult parents who knowingly broke immigration laws to bring innocent children to America will get rewarded for breaking the law because those non-native children can sponsor the parents to become U.S. citizens.  I mean, we can shed a few tears for innocent children who never asked to be brought here, but why reward their guilty adult parents for breaking immigration law too?

  • Adsahjh

    Can I immigrate to Canada? That country looks like it has a brighter future than us.

    • I_h8_disqus

      That is a great thing about the US.  If you want to emigrate to Canada, you can.  I hear that the University of Toronto will take Cal transfers.  You can be there before the fall term.

  • Guest

    Rebecca Cohen,

    All these quotes from people who support Obama’s abuse of the Constitution and none from people who oppose his order for taking away jobs from legal residents.

    Shame on you for this bias!

  • Greekperson

    You go Mr. President!  It sounds like you have had enough and finally decided to make some bold moves to get some of your policies in effect since the stubborn Republican congress people refuse to give you any slack or even consider any of your policies to get this country moving in the right direction, even if they know you are right.  Their whole agenda is to get you out of office, even at the risk of running this country straight into the ground.   Grover Norquist and  his Tea Party puppets should be arrested and tried for TREASON.    And if the Republicans are so intent on getting rid of the “Anchor Babies”, shouldn’t the first one deported be Mitt Romney?  Such a bunch of  Hypocrites!

    • libsrclowns

      What are your charges for treason? Refusing to be an Obama boot licker?

    •  [And if the Republicans are so intent on getting rid of the “Anchor Babies”, shouldn’t the first one deported be Mitt Romney? ]

      Mitt Romney’s family came here legally, but thanks for reminding us that the political left is populated with irrational looks.

      • Adsahjh

        Mitt Romney’s family were all American citizens when they immigrated here/

        • libsrclowns

          Facts don’t matter to Libs.

    • Calipenguin

      Giving work permits to illegal aliens while millions of unemployed citizens run out of money is moving the country in the right direction?  I guess you’d know all about moving a country in the right direction, being a Greek person and all.

  • Whysoserious

    what a joke of a president

  • Calipenguin

    Obama just got 800,000 more votes for his reelection.  Illegals can’t vote you say?  Obama is about to change that too.  He is suing any state that tries to remove illegal aliens from its voter registration databases, and he will not allow polling booth attendants to ask for a photo ID.  With the promise of jobs and work permits now, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens have the incentive to cast votes for Obama’s regime. 

  • Guest2

    So these 800,000 illegal aliens will be applying for work permits. Did Obama take into consideration the high unemployment rate especially among recent college graduates?

    • Calipenguin

       According to Obama “the private sector is doing just fine.” 

      • I_h8_disqus

        Obama’s reasoning just supports less government.  Private sector is doing just fine, but the public sector is a huge mess.  We just can’t trust the public sector to get the job done with their lack of experience and education.  

    • Guest

       Obama’s  unlegislated immigration  policy  can  be reversed when a future President takes office.  We  will then have the information of those illegals who  applied for a work permit and they can be readily rounded up and deported. In essence, no illegal will apply for a work permit under such  conditions.

      • Adsahjh

        As if Romney is going to deport illegals. He’s in the pocket of big business (hell, he is big business) and big business is short-sighted, so it supports open borders. Open borders will impoverish this country, including American businesses, but they don’t care.

        • I_h8_disqus

          I agree.  Hardly anyone with political power seems to have much of a reason to protect the long term economy of the country.  So they borrow and outsource and higher illegal workers just to make things cheaper in the short term.  Then the borrowing collapses the financial market, the Chinese manufacturers supply our military with parts with kill switches, and the illegal workers cost more in tax money than they bring in tax revenue.

      • GuestWho

        As the song which accompanied the old TV Western “Rawhide” used to say, “Round ’em up, get ’em out!”

    •  All Obama cares about is 800,000 more votes in November, legal citizen taxpayers be damned.

      • libsrclowns

        That would be illegal voters enabled by Holder.



  • Current student

    obama takes another dump on the Constitution.  Film at 11.


    • libsrclowns

      Obama’s Jobs Program for Illegals…vote hustling…

      Today, the Obama Administration, in an obvious attempt to boost the President’s flailing reelection campaign, announced that it would bypass Congress and rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. 
      The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

      This is why you can never believe what The Liar in Chief says,  Last year The Liar said,

      “The fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the Dream Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true,” Obama told us last year.

      House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said,

      “How can the Administration justify allowing illegal immigrants to work in the U.S. when millions of Americans are unemployed?” Mr. Smith said. “President Obama and his administration once again have put partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people”.

      Obama..Liar, criminal, empty suit, fraud.

      • guest


        • libsrclowns

          From now to election day we will vet and then mock this empty suit Fraud on his record:

          Broken promises, a failed record…Obama must go..

          In 2008, Candidate Obama, In Janesville: “Create Millions Of Good Jobs Right Here In America…” OBAMA: “So today, I’m laying out a comprehensive agenda to reclaim our dream and restore our prosperity. It’s an agenda that focuses on three broad economic challenges that the next President must address – the current housing crisis; the cost crisis facing the middle-class and those struggling to join it; and the need to create millions of good jobs right here in America- jobs that can’t be outsourced and won’t disappear.” (Senator Barack Obama,Remarks, Janesville, WI, 2/13/08)

          More Than Twenty-Three Million Americans Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 6/15/12)
          Under President Obama, The Nation Has Lost 552,000 Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,www.bls.gov, 6/15/12)
          Job Growth Has Declined In Each Of The Last Four Months. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,www.bls.gov, 6/15/12)
          Candidate Obama: “We Have To Give [The Middle Class] A Way Out By Cutting Costs, Putting More Money In Their Pockets…” OBAMA: “The second major economic challenge we have to address is the cost crisis facing the middle-class and the working poor. As the housing crisis spills over into other parts of the economy, we’ve seen people’s entire life savings wiped out in an instant. It’s the result of skyrocketing costs, stagnant wages, and disappearing benefits that are pushing more and more Americans towards a debt spiral from which they can’t escape. We have to give them a way out by cutting costs, putting more money in their pockets, and rebuilding a safety net that’s become badly frayed over the last decades.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks, Janesville, WI, 2/13/08)

          Since President Obama Took Office, Median Household Income Has Declined By $4,300. “Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery, according to an analysis of census data by Sentier Research, an economic- consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland.” (Mike Dorning, “Obama Fails To Stem Middle-Class Slide He Blamed On Bush,” Bloomberg, 4/30/12)
          Median Family Net Worth Has Hit A Two-Decade Low. “The Great Recession shrank Americans’ wealth so much that in 2010 median family net worth was no more than it had been in 1992 after adjusting for inflation, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. Median net worth declined from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010, a Fed survey of family finances found. The median marks the point where half had more and half had less.” (Martin Crutsinger, “Fed Report: Middle Class Net Worth Tumbles,” The Associated Press, 6/12/12)
          He reads his TelePrompTer and a dwindling number of leftist sheeple cheer…LOL,  
          Bye, bye Barry in November. 

  • I think anyone dealing with current issues like this is also looking for ways to handle their future, finances, and even retirement in successful ways. One interesting story I found today that talked about this issue is an intriguing write-up about a wealthy boss that decided to do something different with his career. He left Newmont Mining, a $6.5B company, to join a tiny mining company.  Very inspiring story that dovetails many of the themes here, I figured you might like it: